Green Matters

Soapbox | Written By, NOW! BALI |

Over the years as marketers have discovered that “green” sells, they have totally undermined the concept by “green washing” everything. So if you see a housing complex called “Green Eco Village” you can probably bet your bottom rupiah that it’s a concrete monstrosity masquerading as eco-friendly. So watch out for “Forest Hills” and “Leafy Space Resort” they are most likely just the opposite.

Our theme this month is “Going Green” and a worthy cause it is too. It’s all about conservation, ecology and recycling. Or is it?

Over the years as marketers have discovered that “green” sells, they have totally undermined the concept by “green washing” everything. So if you see a housing complex called “Green Eco Village” you can probably bet your bottom rupiah that it’s a concrete monstrosity masquerading as eco-friendly. So watch out for “Forest Hills” and “Leafy Space Resort” they are most likely just the opposite.

The Balinese discovered the balance of nature two thousand years ago and lived not just in harmony with nature but with God as well. Their “subak” system is designed to make the absolutely best use of water, and creates a marvellous landscape as well.

It is good to see that many hotels and villa complexes are trying to use best practices for waste management, water recycling and energy usage. You’ll find some of them later in the magazine explaining what they have done. Well done to all of them: Bali salutes you.

On the other hand there are thousands and thousands of “rukans” (rumah-kantor = shop-house) lining the streets of Bali, all built within the last twenty years and none of them in the slightest bit environmentally, ecologically or culturally friendly. They are not in conformity with Balinese culture, they block the landscape, they block the wind, the sun and the spirit. Bali does not salute you at all.

This is the dichotomy of Bali today: the traditional, which was culturally focused, harmonious and in tune with nature, and the modern which is purely commercial, cares nothing about heritage, nature or balance. It is a constant struggle, with the forces of development currently holding the upper hand, but, thankfully, they haven’t completely destroyed Bali – yet.

So read on and meet some of champions of conversation, some of the heros of the environment, and perhaps some of the villains. It’s a strange thing that people can get rich by harming the environment, and ignoring the rules, but not by preserving it. It really is time to re-think what matters. 

 

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NOW! BALI

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